Sunday, November 01, 2009

Scary Good

Jarrah and I agree on something: Halloween rocks. As a kid, I assumed it was some sort of public extension of my birthday, in which the whole neighborhood decided to give me a pillowcase full of candy to celebrate. Just what I wanted--how did they KNOW? Jarrah has always enjoyed the costume and the candy, but with each passing year, the whole gestalt becomes dearer to her heart. She gets all misty when she sees lawn ghosts, and pipe cleaner spiders, and anything with a witch hat. This year she also insisted on her very own pumpkin, which--just between you and me--I think David might have enjoyed even more, what with the carving and the fire. Can you believe they don't have Halloween in Australia? And he's always trying to convince me it's a civilized country.

This year, we had a very full day, which began with a birthday party for Jarrah's preschool friend Jacob (who was actually born on my birthday, but apparently he's younger.) Jarrah and her friends engaged in X-treme dress-up jump-jump, which is all fun and games until somebody's hair bows fall out and their socks get soaked in punch.

In the late afternoon, we went to my friend Grace's house for a potluck, which was awesome. I ended up being very glad that I invented a witch costume at the last minute (a $5 velvet dress I'd purchased for Hedda Gabler, only to discover it was too sexy for the 19th century, plus a matching witch hat from Halloween 2008 that we'll pretend wasn't sized for a 3-year-old; luckily, I have a weirdly small head) because the whole gang was kitted out. Grace's daughter Julianna was Ephalba from Wicked, which was too perfect with Jarrah's Dorothy.

A moment in which I praise Julianna and four of her 11-year-old friends. A nicer bunch of tweens I've never met. Not only are they super-sweet to Jarrah when it's convenient, they hardly needed a reminder to look out for her while trick-or-treating, often guiding her across streets with a protective hand, carrying her laden plastic pumpkin, or checking to make sure they hadn't left her in the dust with their mad sprints from block to block.

And a word about the sprinting. In past years, Jarrah hasn't been that interested in duration t-or-t-ing. A couple of leisurely blocks and she would indicate--with word and attitude--that she saw no reason to continue a quest that had already been successful beyond her wildest dreams. She had been to 14 houses and every last one had offered her chocolate or Twizzlers--wasn't the only sensible move to repair to a warm, quiet location and mow through it all?

But this year, her pride was on the line. There were girls twice her height with whom she was madly in love, all seeming to believe that more is better, and determined to visit every house in the greater metropolitan area. It was not for her to question, only for her to keep up. But I could see her hesitation on the occasions when their speed removed them from the purview of the adults. She was torn between the world of pre-teen freedom and independence, and the world of pre-school satellite to her parents' inexplicable, annoying but dependably constant whims. My heart broke a little when she skidded to a stop once half-way between worlds and shouted, "YOU GUYS! WE'RE GETTING TOO FAR FROM OUR MOMMIES AND DADDIES!" Even grouchy ol' me could recognize this as a formative moment on the brink: the desire to fly, but the pull back to the nest, where it's warm and safe and full of snacks. After all, there's no place like home (say it three times.)


Stephanie said...

That dress may have me sold on the whole thrift store thing!

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh my stinkin' for CA-YUTE!

(Umm, yes - that makes sense in my country.)

Happy Halloween. ;-)

erin said...

I want Jarrah's shoes. For myself.

Sam said...

@Erin: If you can wear a toddler size 12, I'll get you some. :)

Myrnie said...

I love the last picture- just the aftermath... so sweet!

Jen said...

You both looked adorable--your costume rocked! Glad you had a fun night. ;-)

Miss J

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

By golly, look how long her hair is now!!!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Also, Sam, you look divine.

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful post. I must say it made me feel "special' to see my name in it!
It was such a great evening and we were so glad you came and had fun!

Julianna said...

Sam, that was a great post! I'm glad my name was in there! We had so much fun! We really broke Jarrah into hard-core t-or-ting didn't we?!


Anonymous said...

There's no place like home, but only if your parents will freakin' leave you alone!!! Or be targets for your shoes.

Dang, I'd just want to move out & get a house of my own, I guess.